Two new steam generators were made by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) at its Kobe shipyard have been delivered to Electrabel’s Doel nuclear power plant near Antwerp, Belgium.
Steam generators are crucial components of plants based on pressurized water reactors (PWRs), transferring the thermal energy generated in the reactor vessel to the turbine generator by producing steam to drive the turbine.
The steam generators at most of Belgium’s nuclear power plants are being replaced progressively. With the delivery of these two, MHI has now supplied ten out of a total 19 steam generators at Belgium’s seven power reactors. The company delivered three to units 1 and 2 of the Tihange plant, in 1995 and 2001 respectively, and two to unit 2 of the Doel plant in 2004. The replacement of the steam generators at Tihange 2 added 48 MWe to the unit’s capacity.
Doel 1 – a 392.5 MWe PWR which began operating in 1974 – is licensed to operate until 2014 and Electrabel – now part of GdF Suez – recently began preparing the safety case for extending the operating lives of Doel 1 and 2 and Tihange 1 by ten years.